Sick child coughing in bed

Vaccine Side Effects & Injury

Although vaccines save countless lives on a daily basis, they can also cause mild to severe and sometimes even life-threatening side effects or injury.

Below we have listed all of the side effects and injuries associated with vaccinations.  It is important to understand that each vaccine causes different side effects.  So to learn more about the side effects of a specific vaccine, please visit one of the links below.

“If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately.”

Mild Side Effects (Common)

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever (low-grade)
  • Fainting after the vaccine is administered
  • Fussiness/irritable
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Injection site reactions (pain, swelling, soreness, tenderness, warmth and redness)
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Rash (mild)
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion
  • Shivering
  • Sore, red or itchy eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck
  • Tiredness/weakness/drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

Moderate Side Effects (Uncommon)

  • High fever, over 105°F
  • Hives
  • Non-stop crying, for 3 hours or more
  • Temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder
  • Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women

Severe Side Effects (Rare)

Rare side effects of vaccines may include:

  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
  • Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock
  • Bleeding
  • Brachial Neuritis
  • Brain Damage
  • Brain reactions
  • Chronic arthritis
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
  • Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
  • Coma
  • Deafness
  • Encephalopathy (or encephalitis)
  • Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS)
  • Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
  • Intussusception (bowel blockage)
  • Lowered consciousness
  • Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)
  • Pain (severe)
  • Paralysis
  • Paralytic Polio
  • Pneumonia
  • Rash
  • Seizures (and jerking or staring)
  • SIRVA – Shoulder Injuries Related to Vaccine Administration
  • Thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Vaccine-Strain Measles Viral Infection in an immunodeficient recipient
  • Vaccine-Strain Polio Viral Infection
  • Death